Music video week | Editor’s Top 10 | Ashley Clark

As part of Music Video Week here on PPH, we asked our contributors to nominate their Top 3 music vids of all time along with a few words to explain their choices. Well they’ve all done that, so now it’s my turn. And due to a potent combination of hubris, indecision and the fact that, […]

The Spall Appall: Food and Failure in Life is Sweet

Author’s note: this essay first appeared in the booklet for BFI’s Life Is Sweet Blu-ray, which was released in 2017, and is available for purchase here.  by Ashley Clark “You’re working with a genius. I’m not just a wanker. I can teach you things you never even dreamed of. I’m a magician.” — Aubrey (Timothy Spall) in Life is Sweet Few […]

“Until you know your history, you cannot fight”—a conversation with Raoul Peck

Author’s note: a version of this interview first appeared under the title ‘O Say Can You See’ in the Jan/Feb 2017 print edition of Film Comment Magazine, which is available for purchase here. Below is the full transcript of the interview. Born in Port-au-Prince in 1953, Raoul Peck is one of Haiti’s few prominent film […]

Ashes and Embers: Black film in the final year of Obama

Author’s note: a version of this article first appeared in the January 2017 issue of Sight & Sound Magazine. The intoxicating – for some – feeling of national progress engendered by the presence of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, seemed to embolden liberal-minded filmmakers to engage with traumatic material from a safe remove, particularly […]

“There are stories out there to be told, and the talent is out there” — an interview with Debbie Tucker Green

Author’s note: A version of this article originally appeared in the June 2015 print edition of Sight & Sound Magazine. After fifteen years of international success on the stage with powerful dramatic plays including random and generations, London-based Debbie Tucker Green makes her screenwriting and directing debut with Second Coming. Elegantly and effortlessly blending elements […]

Dope | review

By Ashley Clark [A slightly different version of this review — plus a full plot synopsis — appears in the September print edition of Sight & Sound magazine.] The central character in Rick Famuyiwa’s overly slick high school comedy-cum-crime caper Dope is Malcolm (Shameik Moore), an African-American student and self-identifying “geek” who excels academically, has a fetish […]

Get On Up | review

by Ashley Clark [Editor’s note: an edited version of this review first appeared in the October issue of Sight & Sound Magazine, which hit shelves in early September. The film’s UK release was put back a couple of months after the mag went to print, so the review was unfortunately published way ahead of schedule.] With his […]

BFI London Film Festival 2013 | PPH Picks

By Ashley Clark The 57th annual BFI London Film Festival takes place in a host of venues across London from 9-20 October. Tickets are on sale for the public on Friday 20 September. Since a fair few people have asked me individually for recommendations, I thought I’d put together a somewhat doc-heavy Top 10 of Tips! […]

Venice Film Festival 2013 | all my coverage in one place

by Ashley Clark From 28 August to 6 September, I was present at the 70th Venice International Film Festival. I had a great time, it didn’t rain much, I ate a bit too much pizza, and I murdered lots of mosquitoes with one of these. I also saw lots of films and wrote about them. […]


Since July 2012, blog founder Ashley Clark has curated and hosted a series of special events under the banner Permanent Plastic Helmet presents. All the films to date have shared in common a sense of vibrancy, an urban energy, and a great soundtrack. All films are supported by introductions, prize draws, food and drink, and a […]